New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Saturday said it will deliver the final order regarding the participation of RedFM in phase three of the FM radio auctions in a special sitting on Sunday.

The court decided to deliver the order on Sunday because the e-auctions that are scheduled to start 9.30am on Monday cannot be deferred and the software used for it has to be configured at least 12 hours before the auctions start.

The court is hearing the petition filed by Digital Radio (Delhi) Broadcasting Ltd and Digital Radio (Mumbai) Broadcasting Ltd, challenging the information and broadcasting ministry’s move to bar them from the auctions.

The two entities have been denied security clearance due to their association with Kalanithi Maran-promoted Sun TV.

The home ministry in June denied a security clearance to 33 television channels run by Sun TV Network on grounds that their continued airing would have an “adverse impact on the economic security" of the country because of a pending probe against the company’s promoters by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate.

Kapil Sibal, appearing as the counsel for Digital Radio (Mumbai) Broadcasting Ltd, denied Sun TV having control over the company.

Dayanidhi Maran is not a shareholder or director and holds no interest either directly or indirectly. Similarly, Kalanithi Maran holds no controlling stake in the company, Sibal said.

Arjun Rao and Usha Reddy of the Rao-Reddy family have 51% stake in the company while the Marans hold only 22%, argued Sibal while explaining the shareholding of Red FM.

He also said that the shareholding pattern of the company has been known for years.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, another lawyer for the radio channel, said that failing to get security clearance is like a “badge of dishonour" for the company.

“We were not a device of wrongdoing in 2000, when licence was given, not a device in 2005 when we migrated to phase two and not a device in March 2015 when our licence was extended for six months. So how did it become a device in last four months?" the counsels argued.

Red FM radio station was among the prime bidders in the phase three FM auctions covering 135 radio channels in 69 cities.

My Reads Logout